Ruth Krauss was born on July 25, 1901 in Baltimore, Maryland. She attended the Peabody Institute of Music. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Parsons School of Fine and Applied Art and studied anthropology at Columbia University. In 1941, she married David Johnson Leisk, who wrote and illustrated children's books as Crockett Johnson. They occasionally worked together. Her first book, A Good Man and His Good Wife, was published in 1944. She was credited as being one of the first authors to use minimal text, concentrating on precise language and working closely with an illustrator. She wrote more than 30 children's books during her lifetime including The Carrot Seed, I Can Fly, and A Hole Is to Dig: A First Book of First Definitions. She received the Caldecott Medal for The Happy Day in 1950 and A Very Special House in 1954. She also wrote verse plays and poetry for adults. She died on July 10, 1993 at the age of 91.
Crockett Johnson, pen name for David Johnson Leisk, was born October, 20, 1906 in New York City. He studied art at Cooper Union in 1924 and New York University in 1925. He wrote political cartoons for the New Masses from 1940-1943. In 1942, his popular character Barnaby first appeared in the newspaper, PM, and was later syndicated into 52 American newspapers. He married author Ruth Krauss in the early 1940s and illustrated three of her children's books: The Carrot Seed, How to Make an Earthquake, and The Happy Egg. His first children's book, Who's Upside Down? was published in 1952. His well-known series with his character Harold, began in 1955 with Harold and the Purple Crayon. He died of lung cancer on July 11, 1975 at the age of 68.